Skip to main content

Pumpkin is a fall staple. It can be found as an ingredient in recipes for every meal of the day, from breakfast to dessert. The pretty produce also graces tables as décor at autumn weddings and Thanksgiving dinners.

Pumpkins naturally have a slightly sweet, earthy flavor. While the fruit can be simply roasted for soups and salads, these four ingredients are often paired with pumpkin to make it more dessert-worthy.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves make up the delicious combination known as pumpkin pie spice. Of course, it can be found in pumpkin pie, perhaps the most well-known pumpkin treat. Other fall pumpkin desserts that rely on this mix of spices include pumpkin pound cake, crumb cake, mouse and doughnuts.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is often omitted from summertime cakes because it does hold up well in heat. Fall’s cooling temperatures mean it’s safe to top your cakes with cream cheese frosting again. It’s a good thing, because cream cheese frosting pairs well with moist pumpkin desserts.

Try frosting pumpkin spice cake and cupcakes, pumpkin carrot cake and cakey pumpkin bars with cream cheese. Many pumpkin roll recipes use cream cheese to form the swirl. You can also sandwich cream cheese frosting between two pumpkin cookies for a fall-flavored whoopie pie.


The rich nutty flavor and subtle crunch of pecans balances the sweetness of many caramel-, chocolate- and glaze-topped fall pumpkin desserts. Try tossing pecans into pumpkin bread, pumpkin cobbler or pumpkin bread pudding. You can also substitute a traditional pumpkin pie crust for a pecan one.

Coffee and Espresso

The popularity of pumpkin spice lattes goes to show how well pumpkin pairs well with a variety of espresso-based drinks, as well as coffee. You can incorporate this pairing in pumpkin tiramisu. Or, enjoy your morning coffee with a pumpkin treat this fall. Pumpkin cinnamon rolls, scones and waffles all make for a special autumn treat.